OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - After what feels like four years of campaigning, it all comes down to tomorrow. In case you have locked yourself in a bomb shelter, submerged in the deepest part of the Arctic Ocean, blasting Metallica through your earbuds, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton top tomorrow's ballot. What's concerning is the deep rift in the nation that has led so many to convince themselves that Trump is a viable alternative for the leader of the free world. Hold your nose and vote, and pray that whoever wins makes a valiant effort to unify the country and develop some trust.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - If you want to sew up the Jersey vote on any issue, just get Springsteen and Bon Jovi to perform together on your behalf. Hillary Clinton apparently read that email, which is why the final stop on her campaign tonight is Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where our favorite aging rockers will hit the stage. Throw in the Obamas, and former President Bill Clinton, for added star power, as our politicians show they are hip with the AARP crowd. This GOTV rally is expected to begin at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 4 p.m. at 4th and Chestnut streets.
BRIDGEGATE - Gov. Chris Christie tells CBS he is a victim of the media and his political opponents, saying he has been attacked relentlessly for three years about the scandal that - remember folks - he knew absolutely nothing about. Christie tells us he was forbidden from protecting himself from these unfair, daily attacks, because he didn't want to "stain" the judicial process. "If there is only one line of information, then people will believe the line of information they are being given," he said, even after distributing a second line of information, an $11 million taxpayer-funded report that proves his complete and obvious innocence. Chris Christie: Victim of Bullying.
IN LINE - If motor vehicle clerks are required to sing "Happy Birthday" to every customer, even remarkably off-key, maybe we wouldn't mind wasting our birthdays at a Motor Vehicle Commission office. State lawmakers want to switch our driver's license expiration dates to our birthdays, instead of the last day of the month every four years. Gov. Chris Christie suggested this change will shorten those round-the-block lines at most MVC offices (start snickering here). Loretta Weinberg and Anthony Bucco introduced the state Senate measure that's now under consideration. Perhaps the law includes one of those "unfunded mandates" for 5.7 million cupcakes.
MILLTOWN - Few people know there's a historic log cabin tucked behind dense trees in a corner of Albert Avenue Park. Now, the family homestead of the late David Schwendeman - who you obviously know as the last full-time chief taxidermist for New York's American Museum of Natural History - is getting a new lease on life. Middlesex County freeholders will use $104,000 in Open Space funds to renovate it for environmental programs and nature tours. Another building on the 2.6-acre Kulthau Avenue site will be renovated to display the Schwendeman family's donated collection of taxidermied animals. Three generations of Schwendemans have run a Main Street taxidermy studio here since the 1920s, where there has never been stiff competition.
BLOOMFIELD - On March 8, Ava Covington's heart stopped during track practice at Bloomfield High School. Because of the quick response of her coach to use a defibrillator and perform CPR, and because of successful open-heart surgery, Ava is now alive, well and tremendously grateful. But she is no longer an athlete; music is now her passion. As a wish child with Make-A-Wish New Jersey, her request was simple: to have a cello. Today, at noon, Ava will be at the Macy's in the Mall at Short Hills to show off her cello and to play "Ava's Symphony" for friends, family, shoppers and other well-wishers. Nudge the mall Santa aside and give a listen.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
LITTLETON, Colo. - If New Jersey voters decide tomorrow not to use the gas tax to fund transportation projects, at least the state has a viable option to fix our crumbling roads. Just follow Littleton, where road crews are using toilet paper to seal up cracks on more than 120 streets, the Denver Post reports. Toilet paper is applied with a paint roller over freshly-laid tar. The paper absorbs the oil from the tar, keeping it from sticking to shoes or car and bike tires. The paper then quickly breaks down, of course, and disappears. Good plan; just don't expect New Jersey taxpayers to pay for two-ply.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1973 that New Jersey girls were given a league of their own, as the state becomes the first to approve Little League softball.
WORD OF THE DAY
Mugwump [muhg-wuhmp] - noun
Definition: Someone who remains undecided, neutral or independent in politics.
Example: At this point, how could you possibly be a mugwump?
WEATHER IN A WORD